In 2016, Marion Achom joined our Girl Up Initiative Uganda team as a volunteer and later became a Program Assistant and then Program Officer under the Adolescent Girls’ Program. Marion is a calm and patient person who brings joy to the team. We invite you to read more about Coach Marion!
1. What is your favorite part about working at Girl Up?
Working in the community, reaching out to different people, and being part of somebody’s solution at the end of the day makes me happy. With the Adolescent Girls Program, where were we reach out to girls with different skills, I am built as an individual.
Some of us never had the chance to have the skills we teach the girls like making reusable sanitary pads, leadership, and assertive communication. These skills are important for the girls as they help them to focus and dream big.
When I was still in primary school, I kept on dreaming that one day I would join Makerere University and puruse a degree even when I didn’t have the support like these girls have. At Girl Up Initiative Uganda, I get the chance to support so many girls to stay focused and to dream that they can achieve anything they want to become by believing in themselves and speaking out.
2. What’s one of your special skills or ‘super powers’ you bring to the Girl Up team?
I am a calm and prayerful person. I always encourage the dream team to seek prayer. Whenever a member is not feeling well I am called upon to pray over them. I believe that it’s very important for every person to start their day with prayer to ground us with the ability, wisdom and serenity to conduct the work that we do and to face different people at the end of the day.
3. Why are you passionate about this work? Why is this work needed?
I am passionate about this work because I feel there is a need to educate more girls in my community. Many times people question us why we operate in Kampala rather than in other areas in Uganda. Truth be told, girls in urban settings are vulnerable and are exposed to so many challenges as well as those that are in the rural settings.
In Kampala, you can find most of these young girls are being raised by guardians who are also busy somewhere looking for an income and do not have the time to listen to these girls which leaves them in silence. The Adolescent Girls Program comes in to build these girls’ confidence, self-esteem, body image so that they can value themselves. I recommend this program for every girl out there.
4. What frustrates you about the gender inequality and poverty that you see every day?
Poverty is devaluing to a person. You look at yourself as nothing and bring about violence in a home. The communities that we reach are faced with gender inequalities and poverty so you find constant violence, stress, and frustrations. At the end of the day, this is not good for any community at all that’s why we are trying to fight poverty at our workplace.
5. What is your vision for the future… for these girls and women, boys and men; for Uganda; for the world?
I envision a better Uganda where we are able to reach out to a number of girls and boys who are in a position to reach out to more of their peers so that they can both advocate for equal opportunities, fair justice, and fair treatment for both girls and boys.
6. What is your vision for your role in creating that future?
I shall continue to share my skills with different girls and boys who will be able to reach more girls with the right information.
7. Is there something special you’re highlighting or celebrating this month?
Yes, I am celebrating my birthday, on the 17th of February. I am thankful for everything in my life and the Girl Up Initiative Uganda team for supporting me.
8. What do you enjoy doing/eating/exploring outside of Girl Up?
In my free time, I like to go for Church fellowship. I also love watching movies and travelling.
9. What is a fun fact about you?
I am happy when other people are happy and sad when they are sad.
We are thankful to have Coach Marion and her calm presence as part of the team. Her dedication towards girls’ empowerment inspires us all!